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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Hydrangeas

Friday, August 30, 2013

French Hydrangeas 
What makes a hydrangea a French hydrangea?

Hydrangea macrophylla plants are native to Japan,
and when the plants were introduced to the Americas and Europe
in 1789, they became commonly known as French hydrangeas.

Do you suppose there is a connection to the
French Revolution occurring in 1789?

Hydrangeas were a widely-used garden plant 
until the 1900s when their popularity waned. 
Why, I don't know.  
I love hydrangeas! 

My heart is happy that they are popular once again. 

These gigantic blooms were in the local grocery store this week. 
Four came home with me, and
I have adopted them as part of the family. 
I am trying to dry them and hope they retain their colors. 

Obviously, these were grown someplace beside Texas 
since these blooms look decidedly like Fall, 
and it was over 100° here today. 
And predicted highs are 104°, 102°, 102°... 
Definitely not Fall in Texas, yet. 
Not even close... 
Won't be Fall for another two months... 

 As these dry, the veins in the petals become more pronounced. 
Just breathtaking! 

Recently, I discovered a whole collection of hydrangea-designed 
home decor items. 

Be still my heart! 

Art imitates life. 

Surrounding my old butter churn filled with the 
real drying hydrangea blooms are the hydrangea-designed 
paper plates, bridge card set, scented candle with keepsake box, 
matches, soap dish, large wooden tray, and kitchen cotton towel. 

Now I can enjoy looking at hydrangeas all the time. 
Even in the dead of winter... 

The decorated pieces mimic the beauty of the real thing. 

The kitchen towel has multiple colors of hydrangeas. 
The colors in the real hydrangeas vary from bloom to bloom, 
and even within the individual petals on each bloom 
the colors vary.  

Blues, lavenders, mauves, yellows, pinks, greens,... 
From soft pastels to dark jewel tones... 

The old butter churn was a find in a yard sale along a country highway 
in rural Tennessee forty-one years ago. 

We weren't looking for a yard sale as we traveled from north Alabama 
to Washington, D.C. 
No, the yard sale found us. 
But, my car has always known how to stop unexpectedly, 
brake for yard sales, turn around for flea markets...  
years before junking attracted mainstream America 
to the 127 Corridor Sale. 

Old French postcards from a Paris flea market 
(yes, the metro braked for flea markets in Paris) 
are right at home with the script-decorated 
French hydrangea items. 

Photos taken from different angles cause the colors to look differently. 

It is amazing how the entire photo has a different color cast 
based on the angle of the shot and the direction of the light source.  
From any angle, I love the hydrangeas. 

The watering can with the hydrangeas rings true.  
Hydrangeas require lots of water. 

Fingers crossed the real hydrangeas 
will retain their color and shape as they dry. 

Regardless, the beauty of the hydrangea-decorated 
items will last for years to come. 
Each time I look at them I will remember 
the real French hydrangeas that filled 
our house with their beauty. 
And, I will remember the joy of finding 
the old churn, used as a hydrangea vase,  
along a rural road in Tennessee 
during a happy road-trip. 
Full disclosure---
Botanic Bleu will sell hydrangea-decorated 
items in a Country French Christmas event 
beginning Nov. 30, 2013, in Mansfield, Tx.  
No compensation was provided 
by the manufacturer for this post or 
at any other time.
My blogiversary Give-Away is 
going on through Sept. 2, 2013. 
If you would like to win a ceramic message board, 
see how to enter at the link below.
Blogiversary Give-Away
Some lucky reader is going to win
the fleur-de-lis decorated board
just in time to write fall messages.